To ease congestion during peak hours, Tokyo Metro offers free food to commuters
Tokyo, Jan 23: Around 7.2 million people use Tokyo's metro transportation every day and to ease the tremendous rush at peak hours, the authorities have come with something unique. As a solution, they are trying to attract people to catch trains before the rush hour starts and the way by offering free food. It is learnt that if Tokyo Metro succeeds in reducing at least 2,000 commuters by making them commute before the rush hours, it will give each one of the travellers tempura - a Japanese dish.
And if that number touches 2,500, then each commuter will get a free bowl of soba - another Japanese dish. If the number goes over 3,000, the commuters will be rewarded with a combo of soba and tempura.
The offer of free food comes after the Tokyo Metropolitan Government started its own initiative over the next two weeks to ease the crowd in metro. Nearly 1,000 business houses are also taking part in the initiative, allowing their workers to start and finish off their daily work earlier or work from home.
The Tozai line of the metro, which connects the eastern suburbs of Tokyo and China directly to the business districts, is hit the most by the rush hour congestion. Trains on that line travel at 199 per cent capacity which though is still safe but causes inconvenience to passengers, said Takeshi Yamashita, a Tokyo Metro spokesman.
"This is our most congested line. We are always trying to ease the rush hour congestion," he was quoted as saying by AFP. "We hope this will encourage people to continue (taking early trains) to help ease the rush hour situation."